Cougars shutout Bulls to finish series


Junior first baseman Chris Irairt led the Cougars’ offensive charge against the Bulls on Sunday as his left field homer brought the first run of the day.  |  File Photo/The Cougar

The Cougars outplayed the Buffalo Bulls 5-0 for their third win of the weekend and their fifth consecutive win to end the series at Cougar Field on Sunday.

Houston set the pace in the bottom of the first junior when first baseman Chris Iriart stepped up to hit a home run to left field, giving the Cougars the first run of the day.

“I went up there looking for a pretty good pitch to hit,” said Iriart. “I was looking for anything and he hung me a changeup so I just jumped on it.”

Both teams went scoreless through the second inning, but in the bottom of the third, Houston’s junior second baseman Josh Vidales opened the inning by reaching first on a fielding error and advanced to second on a balk. With a fielder’s choice ground out from junior catcher Josh Campbell, Vidales moved to third and another Buffalo error sent him home.

With a runner on second base and no outs in the bottom of the fourth, Houston capitalized on errors made by Buffalo when both freshman right fielder Corey Julks and junior center fielder Ashford Fulmer were walked to load the bases. Freshman left fielder Zac Taylor hit a sac-fly to right field to score junior designated hitter Ian Rice.

Making the first start of his Cougar career, senior Taylor Cobb went six complete shutout innings on just five hits and three strikeouts for his first win of the year. In the top of the seventh, junior Kyle Dowdy replaced the senior pitcher for the next two innings with four hits and three strikeouts. Senior Aaron Garza recorded the final three outs of the game to give Houston its third shutout of the year.

“Every time you sweep anyone, it’s a great weekend. It’s hard to sweep. Really proud of coming out and finish this (series) off today,” said head coach Todd Whitting. “We played very well; we won many innings this weekend, and that’s what has been for the past couple of weeks. Just win as many innings as we can.”

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